I love the chewy texture of this rustic Sardinian pasta – and the name which means ‘little fat ones’! This is the same pasta dough as we use for the lombrichi in our Be Inspired Sardinian kit; you can see a video of me making it here. The full-flavoured Serra Lori rosato, made from a blend of indigenous Sardinian red grapes, is a great match with this dish.
Serves 4-6 as an entrée
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 stalk celery heart, finely diced
- Salt flakes, to taste
- 300g Italian-style pork sausages, skins removed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced oregano leaves
- 400g canned peeled tomatoes, crushed
- 50g freshly grated Pecorino Sardo
Hand-rolled Pasta Dough
- 270g bakers’ flour, plus extra for dusting
- Pinch salt flakes, crushed
- ¾ cup warm water, more or less
- Make Hand-rolled Pasta Dough: put flour and salt into a bowl. Add half the water and mix, adding enough of the remaining water a little at a time to form a firm dough, you may not need it all. Tip onto a clean floured workbench and knead well with for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
- Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (overnight is fine).
- Dust a tray and half a bench well with flour. Place Pasta Dough on the unfloured part of the bench.
- Break off about a fifth of the dough and use the palms of your hands to roll it into a 1cm-thick log.
- Cut the log into chickpea-sized pieces and roll them between the palms of your hands into little balls.
- Dust well with flour and set aside on the flour-dusted tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add oil, onion, carrot, celery and a good pinch of salt and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, until tender.
- Uncover and cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until lightly coloured.
- Add sausage meat, spread it out evenly in the pan and cook, without stirring, for a few minutes until well browned.
- Turn and cook the other side for a few minutes, until browned, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces.
- Stir in rosemary and oregano, then tomato.
- Add a cup of water to the tomato tin, pour it into the pan and stir to combine well, crushing the tomato and meat.
- Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly and crushing the meat and tomato, until it forms a thick sauce.
- Once sauce has reached this stage, continue cooking over a low heat and bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil (10g salt for every litre of water).
- Add cicciones to the water and boil for about 12 minutes, until tender.
- Strain well retaining some of the cooking water.
- Add cicciones and most of the Pecorino to the sauce and toss for a minute or 2 to coat well. If it’s a bit dry, toss through a couple of tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to give a creamy consistency.
- Serve into flat pasta bowls, top with remaining Pecorino and drizzle with oil.